Peter & Valerie Lockwood
Peter and Valerie have been serving with United Mission to Nepal (UMN), a Christian development organisation since 2012. Peter works as a programme adviser for UMN and is a member of the UMN leadership team. Valerie assists in UMN’s human resources department and is involved in a variety of ministries outside UMN.
As the programme adviser, Peter has both management and technical engineering roles. He assists in the design, implementation and completion of UMN’s community focus programmes that cover education, health, livelihoods and peacebuilding. He continues to assist with engineering reconstruction in Dhading following the 2015 earthquake and technical matters for UMN’s two mission hospitals in Tansen and Okhaldhunga.
Latest News and Prayer Requests – November 2020
We are in currently the middle of two major Hindu festivals; Dasai occurred in the last week of October and Tihar will happen in the middle of November. It is normally a vital family time when many Nepalis return to their home towns and villages to celebrate and enjoy re-connecting with their extended families. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic there is different feel to the festival season this year.
Many people live and work in the major cities of Nepal (Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nepalgunj), but these places are hotspots with spiralling numbers of new cases. Some people have travelled to their rural homes raising fears of spreading the virus in the more remote areas of Nepal. Others have not been able to travel home due to a lack of money caused by rising unemployment; for them it has been a very subdued affair. For UMN staff most have remained either in Kathmandu or in the regional offices and so will spend Dasai and Tihar away from their families. Although the regional cluster offices have been re-opened, reengaging with local communities has been challenging due to a combination of poor rural medical facilities and the fear of the COVID-19 virus.
Both UMN hospitals in Tansen and Okhaldhunga continue to provide both vital general medical services and isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients. Tansen municipality is a local COVID-19 hotspot and some local staff have contracted the virus. Although both hospitals provide valued
medical services, there are problems in the renegotiation of the Hospital’s Agreement with the Government of Nepal. UMN have successfully established an International Trust for the registration of the Hospital, but we have now been informed that any agreement must be through each provincial government.
The current agreement expires on the 20th November and without either an extension or full agreement, this impacts the operation of the hospitals as well as visas for expatriate medical personnel.
- Please pray for UMN cluster staff as they spend this holiday season away from their friends and families. Also, pray for wisdom as they reengage with rural communities.
- Please continue to pray for UMN’s two hospitals in Tansen and Okhaldhunga. Please pray for the safety of the medical staff.
- Please pray that the UMN Hospital Agreement would be resolved and that the hospitals can continue operating past 20th November